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To the Moft High and Mightie Prince,



Defender of the Faith, &c.


The Tranflatours of the Bible, wish Grace, Mercie, and

Reat and manifold were the bleffings (moft dread fove raigne) which almighty GoD, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of ENGLAND, when firft he fent your Majefties Royall perfon to rule and reigne over us. For whereas it was the expectation of many, who wished not well unto our SI O N, that upon the fetting of that bright occidentall ftarre queen ELISABETH of most happy memory, fome thick and palpable clouds of darkneffe would fo have overshadowed this land, that men should have been in doubt which way they were to walk, and that it should hardly be known, who was to direct the unfetled ftate: the appearance of your MAJESTIE, as of the funne in his strength, inftantly difpelled thofe fuppofed and furmised mifts, and gave unto all that were well affected, exceeding cause of comfort, efpecially when we beheld the government established in your HIGHNES, and your hopefull feed, by an undoubted title, and this alfo accompanied with peace and tranquillitie at home and abroad. But amongst all our joyes there was none that more filled our hearts, than the bleffed continuance of the preaching of GoDs facred word amongst us, which is that ineftimable treafure, which excelleth all the riches of the earth, because the fruit thereof extendeth itself, not onely to the time spent in this tranfitory world, but directeth and difpofeth men unto that eternall happineffe which is above in heaven.

Then not to fuffer this to fall to the ground, but rather to take it up, and to continue it in that state, wherein the famous predeceffour of your H16HNES did leave it: nay, to go forward with the confidence and refolution of a man in maintaining the truth of CHRIST, and propagating it farre and neare, is that which hath fo bound and firmly knit the hearts of all your MAJ ESTIES loyall and religious people unto you, that your very name is precious among them, their eye doth behold you with comfort, and they blesse you in their hearts, as that fanctified perfon, who under GoD, is the immediate authour of their true happineffe. And this their contentment doth not diminish or decay, but every day increafseth and taketh strength, when they observe that the zeal of your MAJESTIE toward the house of GoD, doth not flack or go back ward, but is more and more kindled, manifefting it felf abroad in the furtheft parts of Chriftendome, by writing in defence of the truth, which hath given fuch a blow unto that man of finne, as will not be healed) and every day at home, by religious and learned discourse, by


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frequenting the house of GoD, by hearing the word preached, by cherishing the teachers thereof, by caring for the Church as a moft tender and loving nurfing Father.

There are infinite arguments of this right Chriftian and religious affection in your MAJEST 1E: but none is more forcible to declare it to others, than the vehement and perpetuated defire of the accomplishing and publishing of this work, which now with all humilitie we prefent unto your MA JESTIE. For when your Highneffe had once out of deep judgement apprehended how convenient it was, that out of the originall facred tongues, together with comparing of the labours, both in our own and other forrein languages, of many worthy men who went before us, there should be one more exact tranflation of the holy fcriptures into the English tongue; your MAJESTIE did never defift to urge and to excite thofe to whom it was commended, that the work might be haftened, and that the businesse might be expedited in fo decent a manner, as a matter of such importance might justly require.

And now at laft, by the mercy of GoD, and the continuance of our labours, it being brought unto fuch a conclufion, as that we have great hope that the Church of England shall reap good fruit thereby; we hold it our duty to offer it to your MAJESTIE, not onely as to our king and foveraigne, but as to the principall mover and authour of the work: Humbly craving of your most facred MAJESTIE, that fince things of this quality have ever been subject to the cenfures of ill-meaning and difcontented perfons, it may receive approbation and patronage from fo learned and judicious a prince as your HIGHNEs is, whofe allowance and acceptance of our labours, shall more honour and incourage us, than all the calumniations and hard interpretations of other men shall difmay us. So that, if on the one fide we shall be traduced by popish perfons at home or abroad, who therefore will maligne us, because we are poore inftruments to make Gods holy truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they defire still to keep in ignorance and darkneffe: or if on the other fide, we shall be maligned by felfconceited brethren, who run their own wayes, and give liking unto nothing but what is framed by themselves,and hammered on their anvile; we may reft fecure, fupported within by the truth and innocency of a good confcience, having walked the wayes of fimplicitie and integritie, as before the LORD, and fuftained without, by the powerful protection of your MAJESTIES grace and favour, which will ever give countenance to honeft and Chriftian endeavours, against bitter cenfures, and uncharitable imputations.

The LORD of heaven and earth bleffe your Majeftie with many and happy dayes, that as his heavenly hand hath enriched your Highneffe with many fingular and extraordinary graces; fo you may be the wonder of the world in this latter age, for happineffe and true felicitie, to the honour of that great GOD, and the good of his Church, through JESUS CHRIST our Lord and onely Saviour.


The Tranflatours to the Reader.


EAL to promote the common good, whether it be by devifing any thing our felves,or revifing that
which hath been laboured by others,deferveth certainly much refpect and esteem,but yet findeth but
cold entertainment in the world. It is welcomed with fufpicion in stead of love, and with emulation
in-ftead of thanks: and if there be any hole left for cavill to enter, (and cavill,if it do not finde an hole,
will make one) it is fure to be mifconftrued, and in danger to be condemned. This will eafily be
granted by as many as know ftorie, or have any experience. For,was there ever any thing projected,
that favoured any way of newneffe or renewing, but the fame endured many a ftorm of gainfaying,
or oppofition? A man would think that civilitie, wholefome laws, learning and eloquence, fynods,
and Church-maintenance, (that we speak of no more things of this kinde) should be as fafe a fanctuarie, and out of *"E¢w Biλug
shot, as they fay, that no man would lift up his heel, no, nor dog move his tongue against the motioners of them. For
by the firft, we are diftinguished from brute beafts led with fenfualitie: By the fecond, we are bridled and reftrained from
outragious behaviour, and from doing of injuries, whether by fraud or by violence: By the third, we are enabled to in-
form and reform others, by the light and feeling that we have attained unto our felves: Briefly, by the fourth, being
brought together to a parley face to face, we fooner compofe our differences, than by writings, which are endleffe:
And lastly, that the Church be fufficiently provided for, is fo agreeable to good reafon and confcience, that those mo-
thers are holden to be leffe cruel, that kill theirchildren affoon as they are born, than those nurfing-fathers and mothers
(wherefoever they he) that withdraw from them who hang upon their breafts (and upon whose breasts again themselves
do hang to receive the fpirituall and fincere milk of the word) livelihood and fupport fit for their states. Thus it is appa-
rent, that these things which we fpeak of, are of moft neceffarie ufe, and therefore that none, either without abfurditie
can fpeak against them, or without note of wickedneffe can spurn against them.


Yet for all that, the learned know that certain worthy men have been brought to untimely death for none other fault, Anacharfis,
but for feeking to reduce their country-men to good order and discipline: And that in fome Common-weals it was with otherc.
made a capitall crime, once to motion the making of a new law for the abrogating of an old, though the fame were In Athens with;
moft pernicious: And that certain, which would be counted pillars of the State, and patterns of vertue and prudence,neffe Libanius
could not be brought for a long time to give way to good letters and refined fpeech; but bare themselves as averfe from in Olynt. De-
them, as from rocks or boxes of poyfon: And fourthly, that he was no babe, but a great Clerk, that gave forth (and in most. Cato the
writing to remain to pofteritie) in paffion peradventure, but yet he gave forth, That he had not feen any profit to come elder.
by any fynode or meeting of the Clergie, but rather the contrarie: And laftly, against Church-maintenance and allow- Gregorie the di
ance, in fuch fort, as the ambaffadours and meffengers of the great King of kings should be furnished, it is not
unknown what a fiction or fable (so it is efteemed, and for no better by the reporter himself, though fuperftitious) was Naucleru.
devifed: namely, That at fuch time as the profeffours and teachers of Christianitie in the Church of Rome, then a true
Church, were liberally endowed, a voice (forfooth) was heard from heaven, faying, Now is poyfon poured down into
the Church, &c, Thus not onely as oft as we fpeak,as one faith, but also as oft as we do any thing of note or consequence,
we fubject our felves to every ones cenfure, and happie is he that is leaft toffed upon tongues; for utterly to escape the
fnatch of them it is impoffible. If any man conceit that this is the lot and portion of the meaner fort onely,and that Prin-
ces are priviledged by their high eftate, he is deceived. As the word devoureth as well one as another, as it is in Samuel; nay, 2 Sam, 11. 25.
as the great commander charged his fouldiers in a certain battel, to strike at no part of the enemie, but at the face And
as the king of Syria commanded his chief captains to fight neither with small nor great, fave onely against the king of Ifrael: 1 Kings 22. 31,
fo it is too true, that envie ftriketh moft fpitefully at the faireft, and at the chiefeft. David was a worthy prince, and no
man to be compared to him for his firft deeds, and yet for as worthy an act as ever he did (even for bringing back the ark
of God in folemnitie) he was fcorned and fcoffed at by his own wife. Salomon was greater than David, though not in 2 Sam, 6. 16.
vertue, yet in power, and by his power and wisdome he built a temple to the Lord, fuch an one as was the glorie of
the land of Ifrael,and the wonder of the whole world. But was that his magnificence liked of by all?we doubt of it. Other-
wife, why do they lay it in his fonnes dish, and call unto him for † eafing of the burden, Make, fay they, the grievous todxlesav.
fervitude of thy father, and his fore yoke lighter. Belike he had charged them with fome levies and troubled them with fome 1 King, 12.4.
carriages, hereupon they raife up a tragedie,and wish in their heart the temple had never been built. So hard a thing it
is to please all, even when we please God beft and do feek to approve our felves to every ones conscience.


The highest


If we will defcend to later times, we shall finde many the like examples of such kinde or rather unkinde acceptance. perfonages The first Romane Emperour did never do a more pleafing deed to the learned, nor more profitable to pofteritie, for C. Cefar. Plus have been conferving the record of times in true fupputation,than when he corrected theCalender and ordered the yeare according' calumniated, the courfe of the funne: and yet this was imputed to him for noveltie, and arrogancie, and procured to him great

obloquy. So the first christened Emperour (at the leaftwife that openly profeffed the faith himself, and allowed others Conftantine. to do the like) for ftrengthening the empire at his great charges, and providing for the Church, as he did, got for his labour the name Pupillus,as who would fay, a waftfull Prince, that had need of a guardian or overfeer. So the best chriftened Aurel. Vict. Emperour, for the love that he bare unto peace, thereby to enrich both himself and his fubjects, and because he did not Theed fius. feek warre but finde it, was judged to be no man at arms, (though indeed he excelled in feats of chivalrie, and shewed Z«fimus. fo much when he was provoked) and condemned for giving himself to his eafe, and to his pleasure. To be short, the moft learned Emperour of former times (at the leaft, the greateft politician) what thanks had be for cutting off the fuper- Juftinian. fluities of the laws, and digesting them into fome order and method? This, that he hath been blotted by fome to be an Epitomift, that is, one that extinguished worthy whole volumes, to bring his abridgements into request. This is the meafure that hath been rendred to excellent Princes in former times, Cùm bene facerent, malè audire, For their good deeds to be evilfpoken of. Neither is there any likelihood, that envie aud malignitie died, and were buried with the ancient. No, no, the reproof of Mofes taketh hold of moft ages, You are rifen up in your fathers ftead, an increase of finfull men. What Num. 32. 14. His Majefties is that that hath been done? that which shall be done and there is no new thing under the funne, faith the wife man: and Eccles 1. caltancie not-S.Stephen. As your fathers did, fo do you. This, and more to this purpose, his Majefty that now reigneth (and long Acts 7. 51, withlanding and long may he reigne, and his off-fpring for ever, Himself and children, and childrens children alwayes) knew full well, Auto's, Taialumniation, according to the fingular wifdome given unto him by God, and the rare learning and experience that he hath attained daÉVTOTE Taj for the furvey unto; namely, That whofoever attempreth any thing for the publick (efpecially if it pertain to religion, and to the s. the English opening and clearing of the word of God) the fame fetteth himself upon a stage to be gloured upon by every evil eye;




yea, he cafteth himfelf headlong upon pikes, to be gored by every sharp tongue. For he that medleth with mens reli-
gion in any part, medleth with their cuftome, nay, with their free-hold; and though they finde no content in that which
they have, yet they cannot abide to heare of altering. Notwithstanding his royall heart was not daunted or difcouraged
for this or that colour, but stood refolute, as a ftatue immoveable, and an anvile not eafie to be beaten into plates, as one Suidar.
faith; he knew who had chofen him to be a fouldier, or rather a captain, and being affured that the courfe which here ne dr.
intended made much for the glorie of God, and the building up of his Church, he would not fuffer it to be broken off pas à Deites-
for whatsoever speeches or pracules. It doth certainly belong unto Kings, yea, it doth specially belong unto them, to
have care of religion, yea, to know it aright, yea, to profeffe it zealously, yea, to promote it to the uttermoft of their
power. This is their glorie before all nations which mean well, and this will bring unto them a farre more excellent
weight of glorie in the day of the Lord Jefus. For the Scripture faith not in vain, Them that honour me, I will honour: 1 Sam. 2. 30.
neither was it a vain word that Eufebius delivered long ago, That pietie towards God was the weapon, and the onely forebea
weapon that both preserved Conftantines perfon, and avenged him of his enemies.
Eufebius lib. 7.


The praife of

But now what pietie without truth? what truth? (what faving truth) without the word of God? what word of God cap. 8. the holy fcri- (whereof we may be fure) without the Scripture? The Scriptures we are commanded to fearch, John 5. 39. Ifa. 8. 20.


They are commended that fearched and studied them Acts 17. 11. and 8. 28. 29. They are reproved that were unskilfull
in them, or flow to beleeve them Matth. 22. 29. Luk. 24. 25. They can make us wife unto falvation, 2 Tim. 3. 15. If
we be ignorant, they will inftruct us; if out of the way, they will bring us home; if out of order, they will reform us; if in


The belt things have been ca Jumuiated.

The Tranflatours to the Reader.

S. Auguft.con

heavineffe, comfort us; if dull, quicken us; if cold,en flame us.Tolle lege, Tolle lege, Take up and reade, take up and reade

fff.. 8.c. 12. the Scriptures, (for unto them was the direction) it was faid unto S. Auguftine by a fuppernaturall voice Whatsoever is in S. Auguft. de uti- the Scriptures, beleeve me, faith the fame S. Auguftine, is high and divine; there is verily truth, and a doctrine most fit for the

lit. credendi
cap. 6.

S. Cyrill 7.
contra Julian.
Tertul. adper-
f Hermog. Ter.

tul. de carne
Chrifti Fujiin.
acial wes's
ἑλλων, όσον τε
S. Bafil.
και πίσεως ο

refreshing and renewing of mens mindes and truely fo tempered, that every one may draw from thence that which is fufficient for
him, if he come to draw with a devout and pious minde, as true religion requireth. Thus S. Auguftine. And S Hierome, Ama
Scripturas, & amabit te fapientia, &c. Love the Scriptures, and wisdome will love thee. And S. Cyrill against Julian, Even
boyes that are bred up in the Scriptures, become most religious, &c. But what mention we three or foure ufes of the Scriptutre,
whereas whatsoever is to be beleeved or practifed, or hoped for, is contained in them? or three or foure fentences of the
Fathers, fince whofoever is worthy the name of a Father, from Chrifts time downward, hath likewife written not
onely of the riches, but alfo of the perfection of the Scripture? I adore the fulmeffe of the Scripture, faith Tertullian
against Hermogenes. And again, to Appelles an heretick of the like ftamp, he faith, I do not admit that which thou bringest
in (or concludeft) of thine own (head or ftore, de tuo) without Scripture. So S. Iuftin Martyr before him,We must know by all
means (faith he) that it is not lawfull (or poffible) to learn (any thing) of God or of right pietie, fave onely out of the Pro-
phets, who teach us by divine inspiration. So S. Bafil after Tertullian It is a manifeft falling away from the faith, and a fault
of prefumption, either to reject any of those things that are written, or to bring in (upon the head of them, indo) any
of those things that are not written. We omit to cite to the fame effect, S. Cyrill Bishop of Jerufalem in his 4 Catechif
S. Hierome against Helvidius, S. Auguftine in his third book against the letters of Petilian, and in very many other places
sengrías of his works. Alfo we forbear to defcend to later Fathers, because we will not wearie the Reader. The Scriptures then
Tangela. being acknowledged to be fo full and fo perfect, how can we excufe our felves of negligence, if we do not ftudie them?
*essing of curiofitie, if we be not content with them? Men talk much of * esan, how many fweet and goodly things it had
Ηρεσιώνη συνα
Φέρει και πίονας
hanging on it; of the Philofophers ftone,that it turneth copper into gold; of Cornu copia, that it had all things necef-
desfarie for food in it; of Panaces the herb, that it was good for all difeafes; of Catholicon the drug, that it is in ftead of all
εοτύλη και
SARLOY &c. purges; of Vulcans armour, that it was an armour of proof against all thrusts, and all blows, &c. Well, that which
An olive bough they falfly or vainly attributed to these things for bodily good, we may justly and with full measure afcribe unto theScrip-
wrapped about ture, for fpirituall. It is not onely an armour, but also an whole armourie of weapons, both offenfive and defenfive;
with wooll whereby we may fave our felves, and put the enemie to flight. It is not an herb, but a tree, or rather a whole para-
whereupon did dife of trees of life, which bring forth fruit every moneth, and the fruit thereof is for meat, and the leaves for medi-
hang figs and cine. It is not a pot of Manna, or a crufe of oyl, which were for memorie onely, or for a meals meat or two; but, as
hony in a pot, it were, a showre of heavenly bread fufficient for a whole hoft, be it never fo great, and, as it were, a whole cellar
and oyl.
full of oyl veffels; whereby all our neceffities may be provided for; and our debts difcharged. In a word, it is a pana-
κοινὸν ἰατρεῖον.
rie of wholesome food, against fenowed traditions; a phyficians shop (S. Bafil calleth it) of prefervatives against poy-
S. Bafil in Pfal. foned herefies; a pandect of profitable laws, against rebellious fpirits; a treafurie of moft coftly jewels, against beg-


garly rudiments; finally, a fountain of moft pure water fpringing up to everlafting life. And what marveil? The origi-
nall thereof being from heaven, not from earth; the authour being God, not man; the enditer, the holy Spirit, not
the wit of the Apostles or Prophets; the penmen fuch as were fanctified from the wombe, and endued with a principall
portion of Gods Spirit; the matter veritie, piety, purity, uprightneffe; the form, Gods word, Gods teftimonie, Gods
oracles, the word of truth, the word of falvation, &c. the effects, light of understanding, ftableneffe of perfwafion,
pentance from dead works, newneffe of life, holineffe, peace, joy in the holy Ghoft; laftly, the end and reward of the
studie thereof,fellowship with the faints, participation of the heavenly nature, fruition of an inheritance immortall,unde-
filed, and that never shall fade away: Happie is the man that delighteth in the Scripture, and thrice happie that medi-
tateth in it day and night.


Clem. Alex.

But how shall men meditate in that which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept Translation close in an unkown tongue? as it is written, Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be to him that Speakesh a Barba- necessarie. rian, and be that fpeaketh shall be a Barbarian to me. The Apoftle excepteth no tongue; not Hebrew the ancienteft, not Greek the most copious, not Latine the fineft. Nature taught a naturall man to confeffe, that all of us in thofe tongues Strom. S Hie- which we do not understand, are plainly deaf; we may turn the deaf eare unto them. The Scythian counted the Athenian, ronym. Damafo, whom he did not understand, barbarous: fo the Romane did the Syrian, and the Jew, (even S. Hierome himself calleth Michael Theoph the Hebrew tongue barbarous, belike because it was ftrange to fo many) fo the Emperour of Conftantinople calleth the li fil. Tom. Confil. Latine tongue barbarous, though Pope Nicolas do ftorm at it: fo the Jews long before Chrift, called all other nations Lognafim, which is little better than barbarous. Therefore as one complaineth that alwayes in the Senate of Rome, there was one or other that called for an Interpreter: fo left the church be driven to the like exigent, it is neceffarie to have Cicero 5. de fini tranflations in a readineffe. Tranflation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we

ex edit. Petri

Gen 29. 10.

may eat the kernell; that putteth afide the curtain, that we may look into the moft holy place, that removeth the cover
of the well, that we may come by the water; even as Jacob rolled away the stone form the mouth of the well, by which
means the flocks of Laban were watered. Indeed without tranflation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like
children at Jacobs well (which was deep) without a bucket or fomething to draw with: or as that perfon mentioned by
Elay, to whom when a fealed book was delivered, with this motion. Reade this, I pray thee, he was fain to make this
aniwer, I cannot, for it is fealed.

While God would be known onely in Jacob,and have his name great in Ifrael, and in none other place; while the dew The tranflat lay on Gideons fleece onely, and all the earth befides was drie ; then for one and the fame people, which fpake all of them of the old te the language of Canaan, that is, Hebrew, one and the fame originall in Hebrew was fufficient. But when the fulncffe of ment out of time drew neare,that the Sunne of righteousneffe, the Sonne of God should come into the world, whom God ordained Hebrew into to be a reconciliation through faith in his bloud, not of the few onely, but also ofthe Greek, yea, of all them that were Greek. scattered abroad; then lo, it pleafed the Lord to ftirre up the spirit of a Greek Prince (Greek for defcent and language) even of Ptolomee Philadelph king of Egypt, to procure the tranflating of the book of God out of Hebrew into Greek. This is the tranflation of the Seventie interpreters, commonly fo called, which prepared the way for our Saviour among the Gentiles by written preaching, as S. John Baptift did among the Jews by vocall. For the Grecians being defirous of learning, were not wont to fuffer books of worth to lie moulding in kings libraries, but had many of their fervants, readie fcribes, to copie them out, and fo they were difperfed and made common. Again, the Greek tongue was well kuown and made familiar to most inhabitants in Afia, by reafon of the conquefts that there the Grecians had made, as also by the colonies, which thither they had fent. For the fame caufes alfo it was well understood in many places of Europe, yea, and of Afrik too. Therefore the word of God being fet forth in Greek, becometh hereby like a candle fet upon a candlestick, which giveth light to all that are in the houfe; or like a proclamation founded forth in the market place, which moft men presently take knowledge of; and therefore that language was fitteft to contain the Scriptures, both for the first preachers of the Gofpel to appeal unto for witnes, and for the learners alfo of thofe times to make fearch and triall by. It is certain, that that tranflation was not fo found and fo perfect, but that it needed in many places correction; and who had been fo fufficient for this work as the Apostles or apoftolike men? Yet it feemed good to the holy Ghost and to them,to take that which they found,(the fame being for the greatest part true and fufficient) rather than by making a new, in that new world and green age of the church, to expofe themselves to many exceptions and cavillations, as though they, made a tranflation to ferve their own turn;and therefore bearing witneffe to themfelves, their witneffe not to be regarded. This may be fuppofed to be fome caufe,why the tranflation of the Seventie was allowed to paffe for currant. NotwithSee S. Auguft. 2. ftanding, though it was commended generally, yet it did not fully content the learned, no not of the Jews. For not

de Chri-
long after Chrift, Aquila fell in hand with a new tranflation, and after him Tbeodotion, and after him Symmachus: yea,
ftian.cap. 15.
there was a fifth and a fixth edition,the authours whereof were not known. Thefe with the Seventie made up the Hexapla,
and were worthily and to great purpofe compiled together by Origen. Howbeit the edition of the Seventie went away
Προφητικῆς with the credit, and therefore not onely was placed in the midft by Origen (for the worth and excellencie thereof above
we ie the reft,as Epiphanius gathereth) but alfo was used by the Greek Fathers for the ground and foundation of their commen-
enfans taries: Yea, Epiphanius above named doth attribute fo much unto it,that he holdeth the authours thereof not onely for in-

terpreters, but alfo for Prophets in fome refpect:and Juftinian the Emperour enjoyning the Jews his fubjects to use efpe-
cially the translation of the Seventie, rendreth this reafon thereof, because they were,as it were, enlightened with proheti-


1 Cor. 14.

John 4.11.
Ifa. 29. 11.

See S. Auguft. lib. 2 contra

Eauft.cap. 32.

Epiphan. de menfur. & pon


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